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With the passage last year of Amendment 64, Cities and counties around Colorado are deciding whether to allow recreational marijuana shops and grow operations within their boundaries. Denver City Council said yes. El Paso County said no. The city of Pueblo passed a moratorium, deciding, in effect, to decide later. Colorado Springs City Council discussed the question yesterday, and as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, no consensus emerged.

As the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, or DOMA, last month, in many ways, the gay rights movement seems to be pushing forward faster than many had anticipated. Some are already turning toward other complex issues, like gender. This month’s Western Skies brings a variety of community perspectives on an issue that can confuse even those who study it. Please note, some content may be considered unsuitable for sensitive listeners.

You can listen to the full episode here:

Western Skies is a collaboration between KRCC News and The Big Something.

The devastating 2002 wildfire season generated public discussion about the need for treatments to fix our dangerously overgrown forests. A decade later, the Front Range has been hit with consecutive record-setting fire seasons, which has a lot of Colorado residents wondering why more of that treatment hasn’t happened. In this story that originally aired in April, KRCC’s Michelle Mercer looks into the status of forest treatment on the Front Range. 

In 2012, the U.S. military’s suicide rate surpassed combat deaths. Clinical Psychologist Craig Bryan has made suicide prevention his mission. This January, Dr. Bryan’s research brought him to Colorado Springs’ Fort Carson, where he was conducting his second study on mental health treatments. KRCC’s Andrea Chalfin sat down then to talk about his research–and how the very characteristics that make an effective soldier can also lead to increased suicide risk.

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Amendment 64 voted into law last year decriminalized recreational marijuana in Colorado for adults 21 and over. Now Colorado Springs, like local governments around the state, has about three months to decide whether to regulate retail marijuana sales or to ban such shops within city limits. As KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, City Council yesterday heard both sides at a Town Hall meeting.

Wildfires and Climate Change Perception

Jun 28, 2013

Though wildfires have been definitively connected to climate change, megafires in the West haven’t shifted public opinion as drastically as environmentalists might hope.

 

Researchers have found that repeated wildfires in the same region do tend to shift public opinion about climate change, so with back to back summers of megafires the Pikes Peak region may see greater interest in the effects of increased warming.

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office is confirming the remains of Dylan Redwine were found in a recent search conducted in Southwestern Colorado. A five-day search of Middle Mountain Road near Vallecito Lake turned up a number of items, including bones. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation determined those remains as belonging to Redwine. The 13-year old boy disappeared in mid-November while on a court-ordered Thanksgiving holiday visit with his father. The Sheriff’s Office says Redwine was picked up by his father at the Durango-La Plata County airport.

The Double Bind: Forest Treatment In The Age of Megafires

Jun 27, 2013

The devastating 2002 wildfire season generated public discussion about the need for treatments to fix our dangerously overgrown forests. A decade later, the Front Range has been hit with consecutive record-setting fire seasons, which has a lot of Colorado residents wondering why more of that treatment hasn’t happened. In this story that originally aired in April, KRCC’s Michelle Mercer looks into the status of forest treatment on the Front Range. 

Army to Deactivate Brigade at Fort Carson

Jun 26, 2013

The U.S. Army yesterday announced plans to deactivate one of Fort Carson’s four Brigade Combat Teams by 2017.  The move would affect nearly 4,000 soldiers, but as KRCC’s Liz Ruskin reports, it’s not yet clear how many positions the Colorado Springs Army post would actually lose.

Waldo Canyon Fire Victims: Recovering without Rebuilding

Jun 25, 2013

The Black Forest Fire destroyed over 500 homes, leaving those homeowners with a difficult decision: should they rebuild? Back in April, KRCC’s Michelle Mercer talked to some Waldo Canyon Fire victims about the tough choices they’ve made.

Since this piece aired in April, rebuilding permits have trickled in: now 198 permits have been issued, or about 57% of the Waldo Canyon Fire victims.

• Main Flash Point: Living with Wildfire page with an interactive timeline.

Flash Point: Living with Wildfire

Jun 24, 2013

In the wake of last year’s destructive wildfires, Colorado’s residents, scientists, and government officials have been working hard to manage the ongoing threat. We’re not only mitigating our landscapes; we’re adapting our very understanding of what it means to reside within reach of mountain forests. Join KRCC News for “Flash Point,” a special series produced by Andrea Chalfin and Michelle Mercer on how wildfire is changing life in Colorado.

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